If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. Animation director Darrell Van Citters (Renegade Animation) has written and self published one of the best animation books of the year. Scratch that… one of the best animation books ever! Van Citters has documented the creation and production of the classic UPA TV special Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol with thorough details (wonderfully written I might add) and lavishly illustrated with rare production art (the book layout is superb). This is a must-have for anyone interested in animation history – and specifically, if you have any interest in UPA, animator/director Abe Levitow, songwriters Jules Styne and Bob Merrill, artists like Corny Cole, Gerard Baldwin, Bob Singer and others, not to mention actors Jim Backus, Morey Amsterdam, Jack Cassidy, Paul Frees… you will want this. Van Citters dug up rare behind the scenes photos, cels, storyboards, backgrounds, pencil sketches… a treasure trove of art material that alone justifies the purchase. It gets my highest recommendation.

If you want to see pages from the book, check out Darrell’s Magoo’s Christmas Carol webpage, where he is taking advance orders for a special edition of the book signed by the surviving cast and crew.

The book will go on sale July 23rd at the San Diego Comic Con. You can find it exclusively at the Van Eaton Galleries booth and Darrell will sign copies on Friday and Saturday at 11am and 3pm each day (animator Bob Singer will join Van Citters to sign on Saturday). You can pre-oder autographed copies here. Buy this book. Order it now!

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Jerry Beck